Waikato Regional Council will encourage the use of good practice in land use activities and practices that reduce non-point source discharges. Waikato Regional Council will, in conjunction with organisations and industry groups, provide guidance in the development, implementation and review of good practice guidelines and codes of practice for land use activities which cause non-point source discharges.
Waikato Regional Council will, through environmental education programmes, raise the awareness within the community about appropriate land management practices and streamside management. In particular, regarding:
Waikato Regional Council will work with territorial authorities to promote:
Waikato Regional Council will consider financial support of projects that would assist significantly with minimising the impacts of land use activities on water bodies.
Waikato Regional Council will make available a fixed contestable fund, reviewed annually, to support and facilitate streamside management. Investigations will be undertaken to identify areas in the Region that are most at risk with respect to adverse effects on water quality, or will benefit most from streamside enhancement. The results of this will be utilised when considering applications to the fund.
Waikato Regional Council will carry out a risk-based analysis to identify riparian areas and water bodies which are particularly sensitive to land use effects such as sediment and faecal material entering water, and establish priority areas to encourage and implement good practice with regard to streamside management.
If the current extent of adverse effects attributed to livestock having access to water bodies is not reduced significantly at the time of plan review or by 2005, whichever is the sooner, then rules to exclude livestock from water bodies identified in Method 184.108.40.206 as being particularly sensitive to land use effects, will be implemented as part of the plan review or by way of a plan change.
Waikato Regional Council will undertake and where appropriate encourage investigation into:
If the current extent of adverse effects attributable to fertiliser reaching ground and surface water is not reduced significantly at the time of plan review by 2005, whichever is the sooner, then rules to control fertiliser use, or nitrogen leaching, on land adjacent to water bodies identified in Method 220.127.116.11 as being particularly sensitive to land use effects, will be implemented as part of the plan review or by way of a plan change.
Waikato Regional Council will apply for enforcement orders, issue abatement notices and use other enforcement mechanisms in Part XII of the RMA where any of the following adverse effects on water bodies occur as a result of inappropriate land use practices:
The discharge of fertiliser* into air and onto or into land outside the Lake Taupo Catchment is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:
|Land Use Type||Nutrient Management Plan Requirements|
|All Land Uses applying more than 60Kg N/ha/yr||A nutrient management plan must be prepared that, as a minimum records the following information for at least nitrogen (N) and phosphate (P) (in units of kg of N and P per hectare per year) :
|Pastoral||The nutrient management plan specified above must be developed based on the outputs of either Overseer (Agresearch) or any other nutrient management planning tool that meets the criteria set out in the fifth advisory note below.|
|Commercial Vegetable and Fruit Production, Arable/Mixed Cropping and Livestock or any other land use not otherwise captured in this table||From 1 January 2011, the nutrient management plan specified above must be developed based on the outputs of any nutrient management planning tool that meets the criteria set out in the fifth advisory note below.|
Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting Methods 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124
The above methods provide a range of non-regulatory methods as provided for in the policies in Section 3.9.3. There is also one permitted activity rule for the discharge of fertiliser into air and onto or into land outside the Lake Taupo catchment.
Method 126.96.36.199 encourages Waikato Regional Council to work with organisations, industry groups and individuals in the development and use of good practices that are designed to avoid, remedy or mitigate the adverse effects of non-point source discharges as a result of land use activities. This approach encourages good practice and practical measures which ensure adverse effects, are avoided or are minor. The good practices can be captured and promoted in guideline documents. Appropriate existing guidelines are:
Method 188.8.131.52 provides that Waikato Regional Council will use environmental education programmes to raise the community’s awareness regarding non-point source discharges and land use effects on water bodies.
Working with local communities and care groups is also encouraged as an important mechanism for increasing community awareness and ensuring that streamside areas are managed in an appropriate manner. Support could include facilitation and information to existing care groups and encouragement, planning information and advice to assist new care groups or community initiatives. These types of groups have a major input into enhancing and establishing streamside areas that are important in terms of managing nonpoint source discharges.
Method 184.108.40.206 promotes integrated management between Waikato Regional Council and territorial authorities. This is important because, although Waikato Regional Council has a direct role in managing water quality, territorial authorities control the effects of land use under s31 of the RMA, and to this extent, Waikato Regional Council and territorial authorities need to work together to jointly manage this issue.
Economic incentives in Method 220.127.116.11 are also promoted as a way of managing land use effects. Through such incentives, Waikato Regional Council can support projects that assist with minimising the impacts of land use activities on water bodies. This includes the provision made under Section 3.4.9 of the Waikato RPS allowing territorial authorities to apply for financial assistance from Waikato Regional Council. This is particularly in regard to the acquisition of esplanade areas where regionally significant values or resources are involved, or where Waikato Regional Council considers assistance is necessary to achieve the objectives and policies of this Plan or the Waikato RPS.
The implementation of streamside management areas and the establishment of riparian vegetation has been proven to avoid and mitigate the effects of non-point source discharges. Method 18.104.22.168 promotes the development of a publicly available streamside management fund. It is proposed to develop a fixed contestable fund in Council’s Annual Plan budget.
Method 22.214.171.124 describes an undertaking by Waikato Regional Council to build on preliminary riparian management and non-point source discharge reports to develop a system which will provide guidance as to the location, method and extent of riparian management within the Region.
Method 126.96.36.199 gives an early indication of future methods such as a regulatory “backstop” that Waikato Regional Council will use, where voluntary action by landowners has not taken place and where significant adverse effects of unrestricted livestock access are still occurring. Rules in Section 4.3.5 provide for livestock entering or crossing the beds and banks of rivers and lakes.
Method 188.8.131.52 encourages research into the adverse effects of fertiliser use, farming techniques to minimise leaching and other methods that reduce nutrient contamination. Such research will result in a better understanding of the effects of nutrients on water bodies and which will in turn lead to development of farm management techniques and other methods that better utilise nutrients and reduce the adverse effects on water bodies. Research can be undertaken by Waikato Regional Council or outside organisations with an interest in nutrient management.
Method 184.108.40.206 recognises that it may be necessary to impose restrictions on the use of fertiliser or nitrogen leaching in addition to supporting voluntary compliance with the New Zealand Fertiliser Manufacturers’ Research Association Code of Practice for Fertiliser Use 1998, in order to manage land and water in the Region to reduce adverse effects of nonpoint source discharges.
Section 17 of the RMA places a duty on every person to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse environmental effects. Method 220.127.116.11 promotes the use of Part XII of the RMA, where poor land management practices and decisions result in significant adverse effects on the water quality of streams and rivers. In these situations, Waikato Regional Council will apply to take enforcement action by way of an enforcement order, abatement notice or other mechanism under Part XII or the RMA. This may require a person to cease, or prohibit from commencing, an activity that may result in those effects occurring. Apart from within the Lake Taupo Catchment, Waikato Regional Council is taking a non-regulatory approach to management of non-point source discharges as it considers this is the most effective method for changing behaviour in the long term. However, there is also a mechanism needed to require improvement or remediation in the event of serious effects caused by inappropriate land use practices.
Research has shown that fertilisers are a source of phosphate and nitrate in the Region’s water bodies. These contaminants enter water where fertilisers are leached out of the soils and enter either surface or ground water. Rule 18.104.22.168 acknowledges that, while the inappropriate use of fertilisers can adversely affect water quality, the use of fertilisers should be a permitted activity. The Rule does not permit the discharge of fertilisers into water. Should this occur causing significant adverse effects on water, Waikato Regional Council is able to use Part XII enforcement. To assist resource users understand their obligations under a range of industry codes of practice a good practice guide based on the key points of those codes is attached in Section 3.9.7 of this Plan. Waikato Regional Council will monitor the adverse effects of fertiliser use on water quality. If monitoring shows that the adverse effects of fertiliser use are unsustainable, Waikato Regional Council may consider reviewing its nonregulatory approach when the Plan is reviewed.